As a child Nigel Marven never had model cars or train sets – his bedroom was full of stick insects, green lizards, baby crickets and boa constrictors plus a giant eel in the bathtub!
He was attracted to unusual animals, reptiles and insects and wanted to learn more about them.
After reading Gerald Durrell’s classic “My Family and Other Animals” he knew he was not alone and went on to study botany and zoology at Bristol University.
Whilst there he got into film making by following a BBC producer around Devon and Cornwall and got his first job in television as a ‘worm wrangler’ on a series called Galactic Garden, presented by Andrew Sachs.
He was then offered his dream job with one of his great heroes, David Attenborough, as a researcher on The First Eden, about the natural history of the Mediterranean.
There followed a ten-year production stint with the BBC’s renowned Natural History Unit with Nigel producing and directing more than a dozen shows.
His biggest hit was as series producer of Incredible Journeys, which followed the migration of various animals and the programme on swallows attracted an audience of 9.5 million.
Making his screen debut by crawling into an aardvark burrow in search of a giant python, Nigel was an instant hit with his matey but knowledgeable style and hasn’t looked back since.
There have been many exciting and scary moments but amazingly he has never been injured – apart from being blinded for three days when in Kenya a spitting cobra spat in his eye.